Since the 1950s and Tudor's creation of one of the first modern professional divers' watches, the brand has been a regular supplier to the French Navy. With the Pelagos FXD model, where FXD refers to the extra robust fixed strap bars of the case, Tudor is reviving this historic collaboration.
The brand has just unveiled a technical watch that meets a unique set of specifications that was developed in conjunction with the French Navy's combat swimmers, the prestigious Commando Hubert.
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The Pelagos FXD model is based on a set of specifications that are as precise as they are demanding. For this reason, it includes many functional features that are new to Tudor, such as its fixed strap bars that are machined into the main body of the 42 mm titanium case for increased robustness and reliability. Shaped as an extension of the lugs, they are key to the model's characteristic silhouette.
Another feature specific to this model is the 120-notch rotating bezel. Bidirectional with retrograde graduation from 60 to 0, it does not correspond to the ISO 6425:2018 standard of divers' watches, but instead meets the specific needs of the method known as “underwater navigation”, one of the specialities of combat swimmers.
Underwater navigation consists of reaching a precise location by sea, without surfacing, by following a meticulously planned route. They swim at a constant speed for a set time in each section, completing as many sections as necessary whilst timing each one exactly.
The anticlockwise graduation and luminescence of the bezel of this model make it easy to set up and monitor each countdown, by aligning the time set for the section to be covered on the bezel with the minute hand.
The model has also been fitted with a large bezel ring, which exceeds the diameter of the case for optimum grip, even with neoprene gloves and hands that are numb from long dives in cold water.
In aesthetic terms, the Pelagos FXD model is inspired by the Tudor divers’ watches historically used by the French Navy. It is navy blue in colour and has the characteristic square hour markers and angular hands, known as Snowflake, introduced by the brand in 1969 to increase the intensity of the luminescence of its watches in poor light conditions.
It also features a rotating bezel with a sand-blasted ceramic insert with luminescent material. Its 42 mm titanium case is waterproof to 200 metres and is entirely satin-brushed to produce a matt effect to limit light reflections.
To highlight the watch's official character, its case back bears the logo of the Marine Nationale (French Navy) brand composed of an anchor topped with a sailor’s hat, as well as a historically inspired engraving of "M.N.21" for “Marine Nationale 2021".
Historically, the French Navy had Tudor watches delivered without bracelets and then fitted them with their own, sometimes handmade straps. Tudor has based a brand new fabric strap on these DIY bands, with a new, highly technical strap construction. Made up of a 22mm navy blue polyethylene woven ribbon with a silver central thread, a titanium "D" buckle and a self-gripping fastening system, it adapts to different wrist sizes and is very comfortable to wear.
An additional one-piece rubber strap with an embossed motif and buckle is also included with the Pelagos FXD. It is the first time that this very supple, comfortable strap has been offered by Tudor.
The Manufacture Calibre MT5602 drives the Pelagos FXD. Its tungsten monoblock rotor is openwork and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details, while its bridges and plate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations.
Its build has been designed to ensure robustness, longevity, reliability and precision, as has its variable inertia balance, which is maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge with a two-point fixing.
Together with its non-magnetic silicon balance spring, the Manufacture Calibre MT5602 is certified as a chronometer by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), with its performance going beyond the standards set by this independent institute. In fact, where COSC allows an average variation in the daily running of a watch of between -4 and +6 seconds in relation to absolute time in a single movement, Tudor insists on between -2 and +4 seconds’ variation in its running when it is completely assembled.
Another notable feature is that the power reserve of the Manufacture Calibre MT5602 is "weekend-proof"; that is to say about 70 hours, which enables the wearer to take the watch off on a Friday evening and put it back on again on Monday morning without having to reset it. Although, we'd certainly want to keep this watch firmly on during the weekend.
The Tudor Pelagos FXD is available to purchase now and retails at £2,920.
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